Last weekend my brother Don and nephew Stone came to town to watch the Chicago Bears play the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. With the super popularity of Nashville Hot Chicken in Vegas, we thought it would be fun to do a “hot chicken tasting” the day before the game.
We chose 5 popular restaurants off The Strip that serve Nashville Hot Chicken, all on the south end of Las Vegas. We ordered one sandwich, with a side, to split between the three of us. If there was a choice of degree of spiciness, we chose the medium spice to be consistent.
The sandwich was rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in five different categories: chicken, spices, bun, presentation, and toppings. At the end, we reviewed our ratings and we each gave the sandwiches an overall ranking.
“If fried chicken lore is to be believed, Nashville hot chicken was created by a woman scorned. Sometime in the 1930s, there was a handsome man named Thornton Prince III living in Nashville. To put it in polite terms, Thornton was…active…on the dating scene — so active in fact that one of his girlfriends decided to seek revenge on his two-timing ways by cooking him some fried chicken with a little too much of a kick to it. The plan backfired; Thornton loved the chicken. And thus, Nashville hot chicken was born.” (from Eater Las Vegas)
We’ve been enjoying Dynamite at sushi restaurants for decades, but had never thought to prepare it at home. Recently we enjoyed another fabulous meal at Roy Choi’s Best Friend on the Vegas Strip. Every single dish was intriguing, with bold delicious flavors. His Uni Dynamite Rice was no exception.
Now, the other day I made another fantastic platter of sockeye salmon crudo from my Sitka Salmon Shares, and had some leftover pieces of salmon after I had arranged the fish on the plate. Since receiving my shipment of sashimi-grade Alaskan salmon, I’ve been looking for more raw fish recipes. I pulled out Chef Sam Choy’s cookbook, Poke, and came across his recipe for Salmon Dynamite.
As a super-tasty use for my leftover salmon pieces and a way to reimagine Best Friend’s dish… the inspiration for my Salmon and Scallop Dynamite recipe comes from Chef Roy Choi and Chef Sam Choy. A Choi-Choy Dynamite you might say.
Sam Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional chef award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island. Read my interview with him about poke and sustainability here.
Chef Roy Choi’s amazing Uni Dynamite Rice is pictured above with salmon roe, sriracha, yuzu, and sesame. All the dishes we have tried are unique and mind-blowing. On a previous visit to Best Friend we had an extraordinary vegetarian Eggplant Schnitzel, read about it here.
The Chef says of his restaurant at Park MGM, “It’s Koreatown in a capsule – a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas… VEGAS.”
Spaghetti with Pan-Fried Zucchini
Shishito Pepper Pesto
Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Amalfi Restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Bobby Flay’s stellar new restaurant at Caesars Palace is where he brings flavors of the Amalfi Coast to the Las Vegas Strip.
We had an absolutely delightful meal there recently…and would have tried even more fabulous dishes if we had room. Our server informed us that the Spaghetti Zucchine is one of the most popular pastas at the restaurant. The Chef wrote on Instagram that it has become the most requested pasta dish at his house.
Unable to fit in another pasta that night (we had the Caramelle and Pasta Rags, both excellent), I just had to try the Spaghetti Zucchine at home.
Bistro Style Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich
WITH Fire Roasted Hatch Chiles
The second post in my “Bistro Collection” inspired by Bouchon and Chef Thomas Keller is a Tartine de Thon. This is simply a French bistro style open-faced tuna sandwich with a side of pommes frites… But it is très magnifique and muy magnífico with a French-New Mexico fusion twist!
My tuna salad recipe includes Roasted Hatch Chiles from New Mexico, plus lime juice & cilantro to complement the smoky green chiles. Served on a toasted thick slice of artisan seeded boule, it is un déjeuner parfait.
Living whole heads of Bibb lettuce, high quality vinaigrette components, and the synergistic combination of a few fresh herbs result in a deceptively simple yet exquisitely balanced salad, one that is the best imaginable of its kind. Period.
Chef Thomas Keller writes in his fabulous bistro cookbook Bouchon, “The word laitue comes from the Latin word for milk, from the milky juices some lettuces can exude. Hearty, buttery Bibb leaves are a good example of the rich juicy quality lettuce can have. They’re so big and rich, in fact, that this salad almost qualifies as a meal in itself.”